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Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 12 January, 2017 23:03
I'm sure that Graham Taylor was a fine and kind man in many ways. Unfortunately the success of his style of football at Watford led to copyists across the land, including Wimbledon who added pure thuggery to the mix, and the domination of FA coaching courses by the long ball style. Those other teams did not have the saving grace of a John Barnes or Nigel Callaghan. The whole thing was predicated on bogus statistical analysis which didn't seem to recognise that Plan A had a lot more chance of working if Plans B and C were also used from time to time.

As it happened, yesterday I stumbled across a blog written by one Allan Cockram, who played a few first team games for Spurs and a lot more for Brentford. He comments on how the prevailing ethos of the time stunted the development of (and often forced out) creative midfield players, something which Taylor, realising that long ball would not work at international level complained about once he was having problems as England manager. I mean, for goodness sake, Carlton Palmer!

Sorry if these comments are out of tune with the eulogies generally given when someone dies. I am sure he loved the game and getting success out of the style at club level shows he was a pretty good manager, but it led to a pretty bleak era for football.


Re: Football thread another new one
The Diamond ruled ok 13 January, 2017 05:23


Warts and all documentary which he had left pretty much as it was filmed that was and fair play to him but good point Adelaide re the pausity of decent mids when he was gaffer.

Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 13 January, 2017 11:12
Cockram more or less blamed Taylor himself for introducing the way of playing, so regards it as reaping what he had sown. If a less able manager had introduced it and it had fallen flat on its face, that would have been it, so in a sense that is blaming Taylor for being a very good coach (of a dodgy style). And a coach who recognised and accommodated the skill of John Barnes, even though he was not obviously suited to the style.

Cockram's particular gripe was that when Phil Holder took over from Steve Perryman at Brentford, midfield just got bypassed every time, which basically froze him out. He claimed it got so bad that players were actually getting applauded for putting the ball into touch near the corner flag because it was the most difficult spot to escape.

Statistics apparently showed that the majority of goals were scored through moves involving three or fewer passes (not sure of the number). The misinterpretation is to jump from that to replacing "passes" with "hoofs" and that it was right to try nothing else. Many such two or three pass goals would have arise surely from the expectation that something more complex was likely, or from pressures and distortions of the defence arising from the previous move. Unsubtle (and misguided) statistical interpretation led to unsubtle football.

American football provides some insight, because plays are selected before they happen. Some teams have a poor running game, but they still run the ball more often than its success rate would indicate. Why? To keep the opposition honest, so they have to maintain defence against the run and thus open up more space for the pass.

When Spurs first played Wimbledon, I went with an open mind. Plucky little Wimbledon, more than one way of playing etc etc. It was a truly horrible and intimidatory game, with Sanchez and Roberts sent off near the end (Roberts on a stretcher having been kicked on the knee as retaliation). Taylor's teams never did that but if you had no interest in style what Wimbledon did was a logical extension of his philosophy. Most teams had some filth playing for them (Roberts and Paul Miller could be pretty gruesome) but they did not embody the philosophy of the team.


Re: Football thread another new one
Fozzie 13 January, 2017 17:33
I saw Watford a few times in Taylor's first spell there, and they invariably played attractive football. It was a sad comment on how the club perceived themselves that when he moved on to Villa they appointed Dave Bassett to replace him. Inevitably, years of stability and success were immediately transformed into ignominious relegation.

Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 13 January, 2017 18:55

I did not find Taylor's Watford team particularly attractive, with the ball being lumped up for Jenkins and Blissett to compete for (remember those old football commentaries - "and up go the heads"). It got better when Barnes emerged and it was clean. Watford presumably saw Bassett as a man with a similar approach to the game who could therefore enable them to continue punching above their weight. It didn't work, perhaps because their best players, including Barnes, were off elsewhere. Bassett's teams were truly vile but I don't think they would have happened if Watford had not been so successful.


Re: Football thread another new one
Fozzie 13 January, 2017 22:16
Well, Barnes joined when they were still in Div 2, so their greatest success was yet to come. I do remember them as (understandably) being more basic in their procession through Divs 3 and 4; but initially they struggled in Div 2 and had to adopt more flexibility in their approach. And of course discovering Barnes was quite a bonus.

From memory (possibly faulty) they utilised Blisset's pace rather than his prowess in the air; though of course Jenkins was a beanpole and there's no argument about how he was used.

Thinking of the dearth of creative midfielders at international level, I can remember a time when England selected the likes of Peter Storey and Norman Hunter in midfield. The issue.predated Watford. But I do agree about the paucityity of many Watford copycats and the reductive approach of Charles Hughes at the FA.

Re: Football thread another new one
Beeamazed 16 January, 2017 09:28
Slightly harsh some the comments 're Taylor's football style.
It wasn't Brazil but effective.
Watford as a club were good fun,coming from nowhere to the top,..also the showbizzy Elton effect.

Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 16 January, 2017 13:06
Effective, yes.

Reminds me of a comment about Brian Talbot at Arsenal - as effective as Polyfilla but also as good to watch. A bit unfair on Talbot as he was asked to do a different job to that he did at Ipswich but it makes the point - do we want to be bored stiff by two effective teams lumping up the ball consistently to their front men?

I can also recall a letter in the paper from a Watford fan complaining about other people complaining his team was boring. How can winning be boring, he wrote. Maybe it can't if it brings your own team unprecedented success but it sure as heck can be for everyone else. I'll stick with the Danny Blanchflower approach, that it is about glory, not boring the other team to death. And yes, I know the double team could lump it up to Bobby Smith (does anyone still yell "bring back Bobby Smith" at the Lane these days?) but it was part of the variety.

None of this is to decry Graham Taylor as a man. There was a superb story about a young Watford player whose family was struggling financially with a new baby (you can tell this was a long time ago). When Taylor called him into his office he feared the sack but instead emerged with a personal cheque for £1,000! Fine man but I'm not going to go dewy-eyed about his impact on football.


Re: Football thread another new one
Sussex Seaxe 30 January, 2017 16:02
On a completely different, but vaguely football related subject, which probably should appear on the 'Going Off the Subject' thread, were I able to find it....

Anyone watching last night's episode of 'Endeavour', will have no doubt been as thrilled as I was to hear a passing reference to Frank Saul, the former Spurs player, who was the makeweight when Martin Chivers moved from Southampton to Spurs.

I remember as a child reading that he was from Canvey Island, which sounded very exotic, until one day I went there.

Re: Football thread another new one
The Diamond ruled ok 30 January, 2017 20:09
Fulham v Spurs in the next round of the Cup.

Should be well discussed on this site given the amount of fans both clubs have in these parts.

Southall v Cleethorpes in the FA Vase will be a good game hopefully as the 'all continue their march to Wembley.

Re: Football thread another new one
BeefyRoberts 30 January, 2017 21:31
Watched the cup draw looking for Leeds,then realised we had a bye to the third round next season.
But,both non league sides got what they both deserved with premier league sides,let's hope they both make a good few ££££ out of it and the television companies see sense and show both games live.
Any bets BBC show Mourinho's side once again??

Re: Football thread another new one
lower pavilion 02 February, 2017 15:56
I will break my vow of silence on this thread, as today is a special if rather sad day.
Frank Lampard has retired.
I have been going to Stamford Bridge for well over 55 years. For me, Frank Lampard is Chelsea's greatest ever player. I view greatness not just by technical ability alone, but how difficult a player is to replace.
He played for us, for 13 seasons, and was our greatest ever goal scorer, which for a midfield player is truly incredible. However,scoring goals was only part of his game. He was a good tackler, good passer of a football and had a wonderful engine running up and down the pitch. A superb all round midfielder. However it was his ability to score so many goals season after season that made him so very special indeed.
I also believe Lampard is one of the greatest goal scoring midfield players the game of football has ever seen.
I suspect I may not see a better player play for Chelsea in my lifetime.
Hopefully my next post on this thread will be to celebrate us winning yet another important trophy but a very long way still to go in this season.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2017 16:04 by lower pavilion.

Re: Football thread another new one
BeefyRoberts 02 February, 2017 17:52
Well,putting all rivalry aside,I think Frank Lamport was one of the premier league greats,always played good football and probably hurt Leeds a good few times!
Can also put he was always proud to wear his England shirt.
He bounced back so well after he lost his mother as well.
Taking his coaching badge,I'm sure whatever club he joins will be tapping his imense footballing knowledge.

Re: Football thread another new one
Seaxe_Man 03 February, 2017 11:32
As one who watched Watford circa late 50s when they had Cliff Holton ex Arsenal and Denis Uphill ex Spurs.

Watford were always a long ball side playing to their strengths.

Holton a tall powerful centre forward could be relied upon to win the ball in the air and muscle his way through prompted by Uphill..

Later a small ball player, Tommy Harmer from Spurs joined. He was a wonderful inside right who did'nt hoof it. Preferring trickery.

However, he was'nt popular with the Watford aficiaonado's as he did'nt play long ball.

So, Taylor I would say, played what he perceived to be popular at Vicarage Road.

Adelaide. There was a guy at the FA, Thompson I think, who favoured the long ball game. Saying it cut out unnecessary passes.

Wenger take note.

And yes Diamond. A good draw for FFC after the very lean years of Jol, Meulensteen, Magath and Symonds. And about 7 interim managers.

Jokanovic to his credit put out a proper team v Hull and it paid off. A reasonable side at Cardiff as well behind closed doors, cheers BBC.

And Beefy. Monk made 10 changes v Sutton. That and other results suggest that the second teams of the so called 'huge' clubs are not as good as the first teams of tier 5.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2017 13:41 by Seaxe_Man.

Re: Football thread another new one
Seaxe_Man 03 February, 2017 11:40
And Graham Taylor will always be remembered for his remark ' do I not like orange' after being eliminated from the World Cup by Holland.

The culprit that day being Ronald Koeman, now Everton manager, who upended an England player in the area at 1-0.

Shudda been a pen and a red card for Koeman. To rub slat in the wounds, Koemen later scored the 2-0 clincher with I think was from a header.

Re: Football thread another new one
Seaxe_Man 03 February, 2017 11:48
On your Manure comment Beefy. The Wigan game was the 56th, FA CUP game involving that club consecutively. Must go back 20 years since they missed out.

Give you the idea that they are the BBC team. Incredulously, it is said they will miss out this time in favour of Sutton v Arsenal.

Thumbscrews and the Rack used. Screams heard coming out of Salford.

Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 03 February, 2017 14:35
Adelaide. There was a guy at the FA, Thompson I think, who favoured the long ball game. Saying it cut out unnecessary passes.

I think it was Charles Hughes at the FA who argued strongly for long ball. Whether he influenced Graham Taylor or the other way round I have no idea but the picture I got from Allan Cockram's blog was that playing long ball - and only long ball - was being pushed strongly on FA coaching courses.

I think that the idea, and the pseudo-statistics behind it, goes back to a gentleman called Wing Commander Reap at Wolves in the 1950s. Most goals are (or were then) scored from moves involving three passes, or something like that. So, just knock it up for the centre forward to compete for and hope to get the second ball. But that's like noting that a leg spinner has a better success rate with googlies than with leg breaks. Should he bowl nothing but googlies? of course not, as the batsman would not then be surprised by the googly! Same in most sports - mix it up to keep your opponent guessing. The "unnecessary" passes are often what gets the defence out of position, or which draws forward the defence in such a way as to make a long pass (not a long ball) devastating. Crude statistical analysis hides that.

By the way, the same criticism could be levied at tiki-taki teams. Throw in a few long passes and it opens up more space for the "unnecessary" passes to take effect. If only Barcelona would take my advice they might win something!


Re: Football thread another new one
adelaide 03 February, 2017 14:37
LP - Just to say how well everyone at the Bridge, and I mean everyone, did with that awful injury to Ryan Mason, once of THFC. Thankfully he seems to be OK, so let's hope he can return to football (or at least Hull City) fairly quickly.


Re: Football thread another new one
BeefyRoberts 03 February, 2017 14:50
In today's Daily Mail,Charles Sale has an amazing piece on player loans.
Part of it goes on saying these are 'usual perks' for loan players....they get Free Housing,gas and electricity.
Those poor underpaid darlings.
Last paragraph he says...Cellino of Leeds says 'he believes loan signings can well afford to pay for their own accommodation'
the only time he has spoken

Re: Football thread another new one
The Diamond ruled ok 03 February, 2017 17:50
Wayne Rooney has never not appeared in a televised Manure cup game , the last one not televised was an away at Exeter where he was not selected in the squad.

And it goes on to No 58 in the next round!

Thing is it will always be now that the Beeb are Manchester based, 'kin Homers smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2017 17:55 by The Diamond ruled ok.

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